All of us at the Rick Case Mazda Duluth extend our congratulations to the graduating Class of 2015 on your awesome achievement. Now that you’ve marked this important milestone in your life, you may be considering another key milestone: Buying your first new car. If so, you may have a lot of questions regarding the right way to go about making this important purchase.
There’s an old saying that: “Knowledge is power.” After all, you went to college to acquire knowledge. But truthfully, you never really stop learning. As with any other decisions in life, the more information you have, the better decisions you will make. That’s why Rick Case Mazda Duluth wants to help educate you about the process of buying a car with the following 10 car-buying tips for college graduates.
- Come up with realistic budget –Write down all of your expenses, like rent, health insurance, entertainment, utilities, and groceries. Be realistic. Remember that cars are expensive to own and maintain; requiring regular maintenance, auto insurance, and fuel.
- Determine what you can afford – Now that you have a budget, you can determine how much money you can afford for car payments. Remember that you are obligating yourself to make regular payments for several years. And making your payments on time will help boost your credit score, as well.
- Buy what you need, not what you want – It’s important to consider what you actually need the car for. That being said, you may be able to cut back on some other luxuries like, for example, frequently going to the movies, buying the newest smartphone, taking in that concert, or eating out, so that you can afford a bit nicer vehicle. Don’t go overboard unless you can really, really afford it.
- Educate yourself – Take the time to research different vehicles before you buy. The first step is to go onto the Rick Case Mazda Duluth website and look through our inventory. There are plenty of other online automotive resources like consumerreports.org, kbb.com, and Edmunds.com, that will give you an objective perspective on what cars to buy. You can also read car reviews on motortrend.com, caranddriver.com, and in other automotive magazines.
- Take a test drive – Once you’ve picked out your car, done your homework, and have your budget in order, head over to our Mazda dealership and take on a test drive. (This is the fun part!) Ask yourself: Does it feel comfortable? Does it meet your expectations and needs? Does it have the options you want? Try and drive the car both on the highway and on city streets, if possible. Have the salesperson go through all of the features so you understand how the car works.
- Invite someone to go with you – Whether it’s a close friend or family member, it’s a good idea to have someone come to the dealership to help you with the process.
- Understand your financing options and credit score – Take the time to understand your credit score. It’s part of what determines how much interest you will be charged. You will also be asked to show proof of income. You also may need to come up with a down payment. Carefully read over the sales contract to make sure you understand what you are signing. It’s a legal document. Our finance specialists at Rick Case Mazda Duluth will carefully walk you through the process.
- Know the difference between a purchase and a lease– Leasing a new car is basically renting it for a set number of years at a set monthly payment. You don’t build equity in the vehicle, but you do have the option of paying off the remainder or converting the lease to a purchase when the lease comes due. Also, leases have mileage caps on how many miles you can drive per year. Of course, buying a car means that when you’ve paid it off, you own it. There are pros and cons to both. Decide which car best fits your finances, what you can afford, and your lifestyle.
- Consider a pre-owned car – Buying a car that is a couple of years old could save you a lot of money and still get you a reliable vehicle. Look for cars that are “Certified Pre-owned.” It means that they have been thoroughly inspected and refurbished to “like-new” condition. Here at Rick Case Mazda Duluth we have lots of quality pre-owned vehicles, each coming with our exclusive 10-year/100,000 mile nationwide powertrain warranty, along with 10 years of 24-hr nationwide roadside assistance.
- Enjoy the process –Our sales professionals here at Rick Case Mazda Duluth will make sure that your car-buying experience is positive and hassle free. We’re here to serve you. After all, this may be your first new car purchase, but it won’t be your last. And we hope to earn your business again down the road.
The lesson to be learned is this: Do your homework. Know your budget. Be informed. Then you’ll be on your way to making a successful vehicle purchase from Rick Case Mazda Duluth, your hometown Mazda dealership in Duluth, Georgia.
“Zoom Zoom” to the Head of the Class in a New Mazda from Rick Case Mazda Duluth
When it comes to “best in class,” you can’t do better than our award-winning lineup of new 2015 Mazdas from Rick Case Mazda Duluth. A new Mazda really gets an “A” grade when it comes to reliability, performance, fuel-economy, safety, advanced technology, or sporty fun. Stop by our dealership at 2493 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, GA 30096 and let us show you just how easy it is to graduate to a quality Mazda automobile. To schedule a test drive, please call 888-552-8213. For our Service Department, please call 888-847-8592.
Congratulations Class of 2015!